International astronomical photographers have created a catalog of over 84 million stars in the central parts of the Milky Way; 10X more stars than previous catalogs and a great leap forward in making some sense of our home galaxy. The image gives viewers an incredible, zoomable view of the central part of our galaxy. It is so large that, if printed with the resolution of a typical book, it would be 9 yards long and 7 yards high
Blasting over two million lights years from the center of a distant galaxy, PKS 0637-752 is a 'supersonic jet' of material that looks a lot like the afterburner flow of a fighter jet - but in this case the jet engine is a supermassive black hole and the jet material is actually moving at closer to the speed of light.
This megaparsec, galaxy-scale jet has bright and dark regions, similar to the phenomenon in afterburner exhaust called ‘shock diamonds.’ This new image of the previously studied jet reveals regularly spaced areas that are brighter than the rest of the jet in a pattern that echoes the way the afterburner from a jet engine has brighter diamond-shaped areas in its general glow.
Star-forming galaxies take the form of orderly disk-shaped systems, like the Andromeda Galaxy or the Milky Way, where rotation dominates over other internal motions. The most distant blue galaxies in the study tend to be very different, exhibiting disorganized motions in multiple directions. There is a steady shift toward greater organization to the present time as the disorganized motions dissipate and rotation speeds increase. These galaxies are gradually settling into well-behaved disks.
A Gemini Legacy image has captured the colorful and dramatic tale of a life-and-death struggle between two galaxies interacting. All the action appears in a single frame, with the stunning polar-ring galaxy NGC 660 as the focus of attention.
Supernova 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud was close enough to be seen by the naked eye when its light first reached Earth in February of 1987. During the explosion's peak, fingerprints of elements from oxygen to calcium were detected, representing the outer layers of the ejecta and soon after, signatures of the material synthesized in the inner layers could be seen in the radioactive decay of nickel-56 to cobalt-56, and its subsequent decay to iron-56.
After more than 1000 hours of observation by Integral, high-energy X-rays from radioactive titanium-44 in supernova remnant 1987A have been detected for the first time. The radioactive decay has likely been powering the glowing remnant around the exploded star for the last 20 years.
How would we recognize truly alien life on a planet that is probably like a half molten Venus, and why we don't even bother trying. How could we detect any kind life on any extrasolar planet at all?
Given what we know about chemistry, astronomy, and physics we can say plenty about extrasolar planets. We can even have informed scientific opinions or the presence or absence of life as we know it on such planets. Why can't we say anything about life as we don't know it? To understand this we need to understand how life as we know it could be detected by astronomers.
A planet around the mass of the Earth has been found, orbiting a star in the Alpha Centauri system; the nearest to Earth and also the lightest exoplanet ever discovered around a star like the Sun.
A rocky planet twice Earth's size, called 55 Cancri e, that orbits a nearby star is likely a diamond planet, according to new research.
55 Cancri e has a radius twice Earth's and a mass eight times greater, making it a "super-Earth." It is one of five planets orbiting the sun-like star, 55 Cancri, that is located 40 light years from Earth yet visible to the naked eye in the constellation of Cancer. The planet orbits at hyper speed; its year lasts just 18 hours, in contrast to Earth's 365 days. It is also blazing hot, with a temperature of about 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit, researchers said, a far cry from a habitable world.
Is it feasible to use dead stars to navigate spacecraft in deep space? Long-term space travel may be a pipe dream outside science fiction math but people inside science are at least thinking about how to make navigation possible.
The 100 Year Spaceship Symposium, an international event advocating human expansion into other star systems, has some crucial hurdles to overcome. Basically, interstellar travel will depend upon extremely precise measurements of every factor involved in the mission, which isn't possible yet. But a University of Missouri researcher thinks he has found the solution to a puzzle that has stumped astrophysicists for decades.